Friendships can be tricky to navigate for anyone, but particularly for those of us on the autistic spectrum. We struggle with identifying type of relationship, interpreting social cues and managing the admin side of friendships due to executive functioning difficulties.
In this video I’m talking about the difficulty I have in my own relationships, and some strategies for overcoming these difficulties. I hope it’s useful, if it is then please share it with anyone else it might help.
I found your video so ,so informative/excellent.
I have such a lot to say.
I will try to make my comment short.
Firstly – I have not been diagnosed with “AUTISM”.
But I have felt “different”, always, but not knowing “why” ?
I have never addressed my issues; I didn” t know how to, or how to explain myself properly to anyone.
How “I” have always felt different”; but never understanding”why”?
Iam now a retired nurse/successful career.
I have brought up my family of five children; as I was divorced when they were quite young.
However I often had feelings of not feeling good enough; lack of confidence.
Your video and genuine self made perfect senseto me Ella; it almost felt like a massive relief for me listening to you.
I honestly believe had I known of my “self diagnosis”, and with your help my life could have been so much easier, I could have received the appropriate help perhaps.
Hi Mary, I’m with you 100% xx
I have come upon your channel by chance. I have found your video inmensely helpful. Your techniques apply to people with Autism/Aspergers or neuro-typical alike. I am a therapist working with a wide range of people and building and maintaining friendships and knowing the difference between the acquaintances as you describe is the biggest challenge and the source of tension, anxiety, low self-worth and confidence. Congratulations on offering such a clear explanation to what can be wrongly assumed to be intuitive to others. Thank you Ella.
I have Aspergers am 48 years old. Purple Ella video very helpful on friendships. I haven’t many friends. My friends do not understand my Aspergers. I struggle with all friendships and relationships. I am very stressed and lonely. Where can i make friends especially at this time because of Covid.
I never knew or even suspected I had autism not even when my daughter was diagnosed. But I came across a checklist and saw I ticked all but two and as soon as I came across purple Ella it all made sense. I’m 64 and thought I wasn’t very likeable, or knew how to share. I empathise greatly but Ella nailed it in her video. Thank you for making things clear. Oh ps I asked GP for assessment too. Now I can search for help and support
I have only known i have this condition a few weeks, i have not been diagnosed but everything i read about it answers 99% of the feelings i have had all my life. i feel i have never known myself and i am starting from scratch. Your video about friendship says it all for me, it could have been me talking. Until recently i was puzzled why people did not seem to worry in the same way, since i read up on autism i now know why! The real rub for me is that i found out about it whilst researching for my husband who i believe has it, others in his family do, and i was trying to understand the condition, i was so shocked that i was actually reading things i could relate to and sounded like me. i am planning to seek a formal diagnosis, you have made me feel so much better by articulating some of the thoughts i will be discussing during this process, Thank you so much Ella
I find it odd that you forget your friends birthdays. if your into spreadsheet surely it would be that difficult to use it to records a few people’s birth rates. I sense the real reason you “forget” is because deep down you don’t feel the friendship is mutually genuine enough to merit a birthday present etc
I found that assumption kinda rude tbh… Autistic people tend to just not care about symbolism whether it’s religion or something like birthdays. It’s just a day like any other day. You can tell that it is a random celebration, because people used to celebrate name day instead of birthday or by looking at other countries where they have a different understanding of age (e.g. East Asian age reckoning). Why do people even care about something so absolutely random…?
Aside from that, I’d argue that even for neurotypical people your statement is incorrect, because there are 365 days in a year and you rate the value of a friendship based on just one day out of 365…? What if that person who keeps forgetting your birthday is the most supportive person on all those other 364 days…? Are they not your genuine friend because they forget your birthday…? And that colleague of yours who never meets you outside of work and only gives you minimal social interaction during working hours but congratulates you on every birthday because it’s written in the calender at the work place…. is that a genuine friend of yours….? By your logic, the 364-days-supportive-person is not your friend but the co-worker is…
I’d rather take the person who forgets my brithday. It’s just another day like any other day anyway…
I like your reply. I find the oversized emphasis in the day a person is born to be ridiculous myself.
Just to make the point, I have given myself a completely different day to celebrate the fact that I am alive.
Well said and thank you for your words. I often forget days that are important to other people and for years inócuos never remember exactly which date my dads birthday was on as I knew someone who had a birthday around the same time. It doesn’t mean i don’t care, it’s just overwhelm as there is so much to remember day to day and I really struggle. I have a dyslexic diagnosis but symptoms of autism with no diognosis.
It’s like watching me tell my life story with a British accent and red hair! Thank you for sharing!
Solution for birthdays:
I have an alert in my phone for the last day of the month to look ahead at the next month and make a list of any cards and presents I need to get and a date I need to do this buy. I try and do them all in one go if possible and then just send them as needed.
I like this idea. Plus you could get round it by having a day making or buying prezzies for when those birthdays arrive again.
This video was so helpful and informative! I love the idea of an excel sheet and made one right away 🙂 You mentioned that you bought a book to help learn how to make and maintain friendships. What was the book?
Thanks for the video it was very helpful. I would like to find a group where my Asperger son can talk with people of his age.
do you have some advice or information to share with me, please?
Thank you in advance.
Your video was great,
I’m also looking for a group For high functioning autism For young adults Please can you advise me.
Thank you love And Best wishes Diane
Thanks Ella. I found this video this morning. I’m 66, and raised my son with 5 families. I didn’t know I was autistic. I had experienced, more than once, being skapegoated in a grassroots women’s group, by not understanding the dynamics of women in groups. I so related to your “puppy dog” (being friends with anyone who would reciprocate). And your delineations of friendships. Before my diagnosis, (empiric at age 58 and confirmed with neuropsych at age 64), I just didn’t have a clue about the dynamics of friendships. Your video really helped me to understand. Thanks!
What was the book you read on friendship that you said helped you? I’d love to read it. Thank you.
I came across your video after looking at the Autism.org web page. I have always struggled with friendships and hated mu school days. I went recently to a place called ADOS in New Malden to see if I was on the spectrum, but it came up negative, but I know that there is something about me that does not ‘fit’ into society. I have lost a lot of friends, either through saying the wrong thing or telling people my problems too much. I am getting therapy with Mind, but i would like to be better at making friends and keeping them!! I am a recent MA Fine Art graduate but I have not really felt that the people there ever wanted to be my friend, and a lot of times I felt ignored. The whole point of me doing an MA was to get to know other people, but i don’t feel that worked very well to be honest. now, I really feel alone and stuck.
I feel like you too lindsay… Xxx
I have recently been diagnosed with Autism and have been struggling to work out why i act the way i do especially when it comes to friendships and being alone. i stumbled across this video when i subscribed to the autism society page and found this really really helpful something i could relate to and understand.
I don’t really desire friendships apart from the special bond I share with my wife. But she had this friend, and I wanted to be friends with her friends, and it didn’t work out between us and I cost her her friend. We both agree that in our argument, the friend in question was wrong, and my wife is content with a decision to not talk to that person anymore bc she was super weird and rude to me. But I think I didn’t get along with her bc of her being neurotypical and me having trouble understanding and being friends with NT people. Because, our brains are just too different. My wife I suspect is autistic and definitely has ADHD so is far from neurotypical. Even though in some ways we are different, after all we’re different people, I am more like her and find her easy to understand. Also NT people run on deceit and lies. I hate that! They never really tell you if you’re doing well or poorly. Until you do so poorly that they suddenly 180 and ghost you forever! Their behavior is not understandable or rational!
New to site but might end up becoming a fan bc it’s so rare to find good advice BY autistic, adult women, for US! To get here you have to sift through a million search results assuming you are a PARENT with an autistic child! Or, I get titles like “working with adults on the spectrum” as if though adults, we are still treated as THINGS that need to be “worked with” like a dog. Anyway thanks for all your work on this video and your other work! Nice to meet you! Sorry it’s so tough to live in a neurotypical world! We’re all in this together.